The Colour of Faded Lilacs

A little girl's bedroom next to a fine example of hand wrought iron work on the Kali Strata

It is a hot and humid day on Symi, a small island in the Southern Dodecanese. The island has been wrapped in a warm steamy cloud all week and at one point early this morning humidity was 85% and visibility was down to a few kilometers. The Vigla and the ridge of hills framing the Pedi valley were smothered in mist. A lot of the haze has burned off now but visibility is still poor and the sky is the colour of faded lilacs. The Turkish coast is invisible in the purple haze and with so little wind the daily armada of Turkish gulets visiting Greece is forced to motor all the way from Datca or Bozburun.

A new roof goes up on the Kali Strata. 
Believe it or not, that is a three storey building, the rest of which clings to the cliff below.

Today’s photographs show some of the paradoxes of Symi, the juxtaposition between Symi, the nineteenth century neo-classical gem, and Symi the restored and rebuilt, life among the ruins of the Kali Strata.

Ruins and old mansions in various stages of repair.  Festooned with wiring and there is a mobile phone beacon on the hill in the background.  The topmost house on the hill in the background, the one with the white walls and blue shutters, is the Gate House

These ruins are destined to become a boutique hotel some day. 
The restored and repro mansions of Mavrovouni line the hill behind.  Spiti Grande Helene and Villa Iris are both in this picture and Villa Gabrielle is masked by the ruin on the right.
Have a good weekend.



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About this Blog

I sailed into Panormitis Bay, Symi, by chance one windy July day in 1993 and have been here ever since. The locals tell me that this is one of the miracles of St Michael of Panormitis. A BA graduate with majors in English, Philosophy and Classical Civilisation, the idea of living in what is to all intents and purposes an archaeological site appeals to me. Not as small as Kastellorizo, not as touristy as Rhodes, Symi is just the right size. I live on a small holding which my husband and I have reclaimed from a ruin of over-grazing and neglect and turned into a small oasis over the course of the past 22 years. I also work part-time for Symi Visitor Accommodation, helping independent travellers discover and enjoy Symi's simple pleasures for themselves.

This page is kindly sponsored by Wendy Wilcox, Symi Visitor Accommodation.

Adriana Shum

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